Inefficient data centres taking toll on environment

28 Jan 2008

While it has been noted that the IT industry generates 2pc of CO2 in the world, equivalent to the airline industry, a senior strategist at server manufacturer Fujitsu Siemens has warned that inefficient data centres are largely responsible.

David Pritchard, head of sales strategy at Fujitsu Siemens, was in Dublin last week addressing a conference on IT and the industry’s impact on the environment.

“Most data centres are hugely inefficient,” Pritchard told “The utilisation rate of servers in a data centre stands at between 10pc and 20pc, yet most data centres leave all the equipment running.”

This is important when you consider a single data centre uses up the same amount of electricity as your average small town.

Pritchard explained the under-utilisation of server resources is largely due to the “silo mindset” that is prevalent in most businesses and corporations.

“Each department seems to want its own servers and there are Chinese walls separating department IT heads, which is going against the grain of the idea of virtualisation. HR has to have its dedicated HR server and finance has to have its dedicated finance server as well as other dedicated email and web servers.

“This is really a cultural and historic thing. What is needed is a change in mindset at CIO level and learning how to prioritise between resources that can use the same infrastructure for multiple applications.

“Why can’t a department use individual virtual servers as opposed to needing multiple physical servers?

“The shift to virtualisation will be huge and could play a major role in reducing the IT industry’s impact on the environment. This is being helped by social conscience on the part of big businesses as well as the rising costs of energy,” Pritchard told

By John Kennedy